Doto columbiana
O'Donoghue, 1921

Family: Dotidae


British Columbia, Canada to Santa Barbara, California


Upper right photo: Cayucos, California, USA. Intertidal. Length: 7.8 mm. 28 January 2006. Rocky shore. Photographer: Jeff Goddard

Along with Doto kya, this one of two species of Doto known from the cold temperate waters of the northeastern Pacific Ocean with dark pigmentation on the body, head, rhinophore sheaths and cerata. The brown to black pigmentation is more diffuse than in Doto kya and occurs on the sides of the body down to the edge of the bottom of the foot. The pigmentation often forms complete or broken, but not very dark rings around the bases of the cerata tubercles, especially the more distal ones [Lower left]. The amount of pigmentation can vary significantly between individuals, and some individuals, especially their cerata, are only lightly colored [Lower right]. The ceratal tubercles are short compared to the other NE pacific species of Doto, and the cerata of specimens may appear relatively smooth (this is especially the case for preserved specimens not relaxed prior to fixation). Adults are usually less than 10 mm in length and possess 5 to 7 pairs of cerata. The ground color of the body is translucent cream to pale yellow, and the rhinophores and their sheaths do not possess the opaque white, spherical inclusions found in those of Doto kya.

Doto columbiana feeds and lays its egg masses on Aglaophenia spp., usually on the polyp-free sides of the branches, and can be locally abundant on the hydroid.

  • O'Donoghue, C. H. (1921) Nudibranchiate Mollusca from the Vancouver Island region. Transactions Royal Canadian Institute, 13: 147-209.

Authorship details
Goddard, J.H.R., 2006 (February 7) Doto columbiana O'Donoghue, 1921. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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